Osage sets new 18-hole record, eighth after first day of Class 2A state golf tournament

By Kristi Nixon

Osage’s Leo Klapperich hits out of the sand on hole No. 9 at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames for his final hole on Monday, May 23. The Green Devils shot a new school 18-hole mark with 321, but sit in last place by 12 strokes entering the final day of play on Tuesday. EJ Photo/Kristi Nixon

AMES — Osage shot a new school record 18-hole score with 321, besting last week by a stroke, but with the outstanding field at Ames’ Coldwater Golf Links course, the Green Devils are in last place heading into play on Tuesday, May 24.

Leo Klapperich was back in form, shooting a 76 to card the low score for coach Eric Goddard’s team.

“We were hoping to shoot under 325 and 321 is a good score on this course,” coach Goddard said. “Battled finding the ball in the rough. Pretty happy with that score.

“Leo shot 76, that’s consistently where he should be and where he is at.”

Klapperich added, “Hopefully, we can take a few strokes off. Our No. 2 (golfer) can easily take off strokes. There are definitely strokes to be gained back. We can definitely play well tomorrow and if we do, we’re definitely in the hunt. We’re only 12 strokes back of the leader, so everyone is bunched up.”

Hudson and Des Moines Christian are tied for first place after the first day with 309s.

Nolan Heard said he had his best 18-hole score, even two strokes better than his conference mark in which he won the Top of Iowa East crown.

“Nolan, he was shooting really well,” coach Goddard said. “He hooked a few in the last two holes, but to have three scores in the 70s.”

Heard added, “I’m not sure completely. I had a better round than we did when we played on Saturday and I thought I played pretty well there. This morning, on the range right away I wasn’t feeling my best, but it started to come to me. That first tee-off I put in the middle of the fairway, I was like, ‘okay, today is going to be a pretty good day.'”

In order to improve, the Green Devils will have to have a better day from freshman Heath Voigt, who shot 87.

“Heath is capable of scoring better,” coach Goddard said. “He started to get it figured out at the end. If we can get four scores in the 70s tomorrow, we’ll shoot where I’m hoping to get. I don’t know if we can catch a few of those teams, they’ve got some pretty good players up there.”

Rounding out team scoring was Jayden Scharper, who shot 79 for the second straight meet.

“We’ll try to get in the top-three tomorrow,” coach Goddard said. “We’re going to have to play our best golf of the year and we’ve been trending that way all season and gotten better each round.”

Coach Goddard also pointed out that most, if not all of the rest of the field, have state experience.

“School record and we’re in last,” Klapperich said, “It’s kind of humbling, but we feel confident going into tomorrow.”

Heard added, “I feel like all six of us could shoot better than we did today because we all know we had double-bogeys, bogeys that we could turn into pars tomorrow.”

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